Masoor chi Usal/ Orange lentil curry

Hello Sweeties!! I am back with one of my family favorite. Its what rajma chaval is for a north Indian. My family loves this amti/usal with rice and phulka or just as is like soup. This dish is full of good stuff for you and tastes equally good. The masoor is kind of a lentil, which is orange brown in color and packed with protein. This lentil is good for your heart, skin and even in illness, a soup made from this dal has proved beneficial. It helps loosen cough, we were given this dal/usal almost 2 times  a week in different forms for its many uses.

Know more on the health benefits.
Health Benefits of Masoor dal (Lentils)
  • Lentils are extremely rich in soluble fiber, which forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract, thereby helping in removing bile from the body. It further helps in eliminating and reducing blood cholesterol levels.
  • The higher fiber content of lentils helps in increasing the size of stool; hence, speeding the journey of waste products through the gut. In short, lentils are useful for alleviating constipation. The fiber content also reduces the risk and the symptoms of diverticulosis, a condition in which small pouches form in the colon wall.
  • The soluble fiber in lentils has the property of trapping carbohydrates. It slows down the digestion and absorption process, hence preventing major changes in blood sugar level throughout the day. This helps diabetic patients.
  • The insoluble fiber in lentils leads to the feeling of early satiation; hence, people eat less and gain fewer pounds. Besides, insoluble fiber is indigestible, which passes through the body adding just a few calories.
  • Lentils are rich in flavones, a class of antioxidants with antioxidant properties. Studies have proved that regular consumption of lentils can reduce the risk of breast cancer.
  • Lentils prove to be significant for a healthy heart as they prevent heart coronary problems. Fiber in the lentils reduces blood cholesterol levels and plaque forming on the walls of the arteries, thereby eliminating the risk of stroke or other cardiovascular diseases.
  • Apart from providing low burning complex carbohydrates, lentils increase energy levels by replenishing iron stores. This is particularly very important for menstruating women, who are at a higher risk of iron deficiency.
  • Besides fiber which contributes to the health of the cardiovascular system, lentils contain folic acid and magnesium, significant for reducing the level of homocysteine, a compound known to be dangerous for the heart and artery walls. Also, lentils promote better blood flow and passage of oxygen and nutrients to the organs.
  • Rich in the antioxidant, molybdenum, lentils assist the body in breaking down harmful substances hence reducing allergy symptoms. This antioxidant is also essential for preventing impotency, particularly in older men, and avoiding anemia.
  • Researches indicate that the vitamin E found in lentils helps prevent the risk of Parkinson’s disease, though the exact connection is not yet determined.
so now that we have done our study about the goodness of the masoor dal, we will go towards making it.

You will need; 
1 cup dried Masoor/Orange lentils - 
1 small onion diced small
1 medium size tomato diced
1 inch ginger grated
(soak the dal in hot water for 1-2 hours and boil with 2 cups water in a pressure cooker  with onion, tomato, ginger for 2-3 whistles.)
1 tspn Usal Masala- Substitute with 1/2 tspn Garam masala + 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper 
1 tspn Goda Masala- Black Garam Masala commonly used in Marathi speaking homes.-Optional
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt to taste

1 tbspn oil
1 tsppn Jeera/cumin seeds
1 tsp rai/mustard seeds
pinch of hing/asafodita
1tsp turmeric/haldi
3 cloves garlic mashed
Heat a wok on medium heat and add oil, add the tempering ingredients, rai/mustard seeds and jeera/cumin seeds, let it sizzle. add this to the pre-cooked dal with onion, tomatoes and  add more water if needed. Then add the usal masala, salt and lemon juice and cover and cook for 5-7 mins. The usal is ready.
** The Usal masala I have is very spicy, so adjust the heat levels as per your liking. Generally it is wiser to start with less amounts and increase to you liking.

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